The Blue Screen of Death!

September 21, 2010

It has probably happened to everyone at one time or another.  You are happily using your computer to surf the internet, send emails, use a graphics program or play a video game.  Suddenly and with no warning, the entire computer freezes and you see the dreaded blue screen of death.  With a blue background, and lots of gobbley gook written on the screen, you may be unsure what to do.

You power off the computer, turn it back on and voila, it seems to be working fine.  So what is the deal with that blue screen error?  And what happens if it starts freezing and displaying that screen more often?

Memory Conflicts – The memory on a computer is like a pie, and every program needs a piece of that pie.  Windows manages what programs get their slices of pie.  Sometimes, a program will take a bigger piece of pie than offered.  If that happens, and another program is already chowing down on their piece, you may see the blue screen of death.  This is called a memory dump, and is usually a random event that occasionally happens.

Corrupt System Files – If you continually get the blue screen of death, especially when trying to turn on the computer, the Windows system files may be corrupt.  To fix this issue, you will probably need the Windows installation disk to run a repair on the operating system.

Hardware and Drivers – Installing a new hardware device, and subsequently the software drivers for that device, may also be the source of the blue screen.  If you have recently added new hardware, and suddenly your computer crashes every time you turn it on, try removing the hardware and uninstalling the drivers to see if that helps.  If it does, you may need updated software drivers for the hardware.  Check the website for the hardware manufacturer for the latest drivers.

The blue of screen of death happens for a reason, and by doing a little research, you should be able to resolve the issue.